Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Wednesday, March 24th, 2010.

HCR: Bump and Grind

Health Care, Obama Administration

The bump is a bump in the polls. Current polling says that a small majority of Americans are now in favor of the health care reform bill. So much for the Republican argument that “we have to stop this thing because the people don’t want it.” Nate Silver explains why he thinks the bump will fade a bit but not go away completely.

The Grind is the continued effort by Republicans to derail it. Part of the deal the Senate Dems made with the House Dems was to pass the reconciliation package unaltered. So Republicans are trying to load it up with junk and daring the Dems to note vote for it, like a provision to prohibit sex offenders from purchasing viagra. If Dems don’t include that, see, it must be because they sympathize with sex offenders.

Are challenges to the constitutionality of the mandate a real threat? Zachary Roth at TPM says could be, James Rosen of McClatchy Newspapers says probably not.

If you read nothing else today, be sure it’s David Leonhardt’s column in the New York Times:

For all the political and economic uncertainties about health reform, at least one thing seems clear: The bill that President Obama signed on Tuesday is the federal government’s biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago.

Over most of that period, government policy and market forces have been moving in the same direction, both increasing inequality. The pretax incomes of the wealthy have soared since the late 1970s, while their tax rates have fallen more than rates for the middle class and poor.

Nearly every major aspect of the health bill pushes in the other direction. This fact helps explain why Mr. Obama was willing to spend so much political capital on the issue, even though it did not appear to be his top priority as a presidential candidate. Beyond the health reform’s effect on the medical system, it is the centerpiece of his deliberate effort to end what historians have called the age of Reagan.

Update: Tea Party could hurt GOP in the midterms.

Update: Thanks to alert reader Bob for this.

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